In a previous post, I commented on the perceptions of many K-12 educators that their school’s academic success is hostage to their student demographics.

There’s another angle to this – the belief by some (but, thankfully, not most) educators that current achievement levels are just fine. I ran across this again recently when I spoke to a school district’s entire teaching staff about utilizing formative assessment data to improve overall learning outcomes and close existing achievement gaps. Frequent formative assessment has been shown by countless research studies, and by successful data-driven schools across the country, to have powerful impacts on student achievement, particularly that of low achievers.

One of the teachers left this comment on her anonymous index card at the end of my presentation:


I’m glad that my children don’t attend a school where it’s okay for a teacher to believe that leaving 1 in 5 kids behind is just fine. The sad and scary fact is that there are entire communities that have expectations this low (or even lower) for their children.